Failing boilers leave Newark homeless shelter in danger of closing

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CeFaan Kim has the story of a Newark shelter in danger of closing down.

For 30 years it has helped tens of thousands of families get on their feet.

Now for the first time, Apostles House in Newark needs some help.

The homeless shelter's boilers are on the verge of breaking.

And without heat, Apostles will have to shut down, forcing many desperate families out onto the cold streets.

"I don't want to be hopping to another place. My goal is to be in and out. Which I'm really working on. I'm almost... I'm on my way out you know. So to be relocated in the middle of being out, it's not cool," said shelter resident Diana Cisco.

It is a reality Diana Cisco hopes to never have to face.

In fact, just asking her to imagine it, unravels her steel resolve.

For the past two months this single mother has been staying at the Apostle House in Newark.

It is in part, a temporary shelter, for families in transition.

Without it, Cisco and her 6 month-old son Shiloh and almost a dozen other families wouldn't know what to do.

"I'm a new mom and because I'm a new mom I can't do what I was able to do before," she said.

But the Apostles House is in real danger. And it starts with its boilers. A quarter century old, and able to function for just one more month.

After that, goodbye heat.

"Are you worried?," we asked director Jane Hall.

"Am I, I am very worried yes," she said with a nervous laugh, masking what is a genuine desperate fear.

Because no heat, means no families. No families, means Apostle House shuts down.

The solution: $15,000. "We don't have an emergency fund sitting right there that we can go to," said Hall.

"If we lose heat we lose the entire home. There's no here without heat," said Cisco.

Residents here say this place is more than just a bed and roof over your head.

It provides vital resources for moms trying to get back on their feet, like daycare.

"It's helping me to have a big plan. And I have to plan big because he's getting bigger," said Cisco.

She is already enrolled for college course this January.

Her plan includes becoming a teacher.

It's her future. It's her son's future. It's a future, at the moment, very much in doubt.

"It's about losing...your plans, your dreams and your hopes," she said.

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shelternew jersey newsNewark
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